tv Today in Washington CSPAN May 17, 2011 2:00am-6:00am EDT
pages is, did tortured lead to bin laden? could we have achieved the elimination of osama bin laden without the use of waterboarding and other torture. with great respect for general mukasey, the facts as he described them were challenged by senator mccain i nhn his pie. he's asked the general mukasey to clarify them. >> there was a letter from director panetta about what we know about what led to bin laden. in the -- and the "washington post" got a copy of that letter. it looks as though the letter confirms very clearly what senator mccain said in his
speech about the damage that torture does. and that is that the back's as a matter of record as we now know them are not as a judgment casey just pointed out. the cia got the name of the courier from low-level informant and the accuracy of that name was confirmed by a foreign intelligence service, probably the kuwaitis. and as we heard, we did not learn his real name or age as a result of water boarding are other so-called enhanced interrogation techniques. none of the three prisoners that we reportedly water board provided his real name or his whereabouts or an accurate description of his role in al qaeda.
i feel sometimes people are surprised when someone from a human rights organization talks about the efficacy or not of torturing. many people think it is illegitimate to talk about that question when we are dealing with an act that has been so universally condemned by our own government, by many presidents going way back, and in fact in the case of water boarding, up have prosecuted in the mes -- enemy soldiers for engaging in them against our own troops. but i think it is relevant and it is very important to have a discussion based on the facts. i think we will learn more facts as director panetta's letter becomes public. but we should be having this conversation based on facts and not fantasy. i think it is very tempting when you have a national security
history at the level that this is, the killing of our enemy osama bin laden, for success to have many mothers, as they say. of what we are talking about here is a policy of abuse of prisoners that has been repudiated, definitively repudiated. and i am sorry that we are having a conversation about it again, but i think it is necessary that we do, because they're very well respected people, including my fellow panelists here, who believe that torture was a pathway to bin laden. i think they are wrong and we should talk about it. >> to know more about it, marc thiessen is here. he was a speechwriter under president bush and in that job
road or drafted the president's speech discussing enhanced interrogation. marc why don't you -- >> thank you for being here. we appreciate you coming to engage. i hope we will agree to disagree agreeably. the first area i would simply say that we on the other side of this issue do not argue that torture was necessary to get information from detainees because we argue that all was done in the program was not tortured. i was recently asked by a major newspaper to read a piece defending the use of torture. i said did not defend and he said he was not interested. a lot of people do not dispute the fact that the interrogations' that to place was not tortured. senator mccain said of water boarding was indisputably torture. they're people who dispute that, including many of those who work fellow prisoners in vietnam.
i interviewed, but day, an american hero who won the american -- colonel bud day, so brutally tortured that he could not perform as a basic tension. i thought him what he thought of that. he said "i am a supporter of water boarding, it is not torture. it is scaring them with no long- term interests tactics to give an american hero who underwent excruciating torture and no more than any of us what torture is. the same thing with another medal of honor winner who served with senator mccain in north vietnam. he said, "water boarding is not torture. torture involves breaking bones got passing up from pain, popping shoulders out of joint televised in my mind there is a difference." i could go on.
admiral jeremiah denton who actually in north vietnamese propaganda was blanking the word torture in morse code to get the word out that pows were being tortured. he also says that water boarding is not torture. it is not beyond dispute. it is not an issue that everyone agrees except for the few people on this panel willing to stand up for. as to senator mccain, you mentioned that he said it was not the first place that we learned about the koran -- the courier. he cited in his speech of foreign and talents report that the first meeting -- mentioned in description of him as an important how can a member of government detainee held in another country. we did not render him to that country for the purpose of interrogation. this is been held up as proof that we did not learn this from cia detainees. i want to talk to a number of senior cia officials.
none of them had officially heard of this report. they did not know what he was talking about. and then we dug deeper and it turned out that the report senator mccain is referring to a foreign intelligence report collected in the early 2000's and had no information of any great value in it. in mentioned that courier and passing and no one had taken note of it. the only reason they found it was after the detainees had identified the courier and realize that he was the person, they ordered a deep dive where they went to the databases define any mention of his name. they came across this report in 2007. it was the first they had seen it. it told them nothing that they did not know already. and they moved on. the statement is technically true. it was the first mention when they elected everything they had. but nobody knew about it. there'll way that they learned about the courier was as general met casey mentioned -- mukasey
manchin. senator mccain misstates that situation. he says that we did not get the information standard interrogation. gul was an enhanced interrogation techniques. he was completely uncooperative and became cooperative. just as it was with all the detainees, the enhanced interrogation stop and he went into standard debriefing. that is when he gave the mother lode of the information about the courier. it was the most important information that put us on his trail. senator mccain knows because he has been briefed on how the interrogations' work. intervention tastings were never used to gain intelligence. there used to gain cooperation. they took a non-cooperative detainee and bring him to a
state of cooperation. they ask questions they knew the answer to to see if he was still resisting. and once he was answering questions truthfully, they stop the technique, they never went back, if the subsequent years that there were in custody, they used standard debriefing techniques. the idea that you got a better standard interrogation techniques ignores the fact that he would not have been talking at all if it had not been for enhanced interrogation. i think senator mccain sincerely believes what he is saying. but many of the things that he said in his speech last week were misleading. >> part of the debate is part of a dispute over patents, about what actually happened. both sides are turning to things that the cia has been saying, either and letters from director panetta or in leaks right after the bin laden operation. i want to turn to the only person who has worked at the cia
here on the panel and ask him, which version of what you have been hearing is closer -- [laughter] i hate to say that truth, but the facts as you know it, or could both sides be right here and they are speaking past each other? what is your perspective from someone. and let me say that john rizzo was for many years, three decades at a lawyer with the central intelligence agency, finely to be the acting general counsel at the cia. >> thank you for that trick question. [laughter] actually, i stayed at the cia through october 2009. i served as acting general counsel for seven months.
all i can really say at this point with any degree of certainty is that use the to the program for the beginning and i was in it for better or worse for the next seven years. i was the addressee of the first memo. so beginning with sabeda, the real beginning, the cia always recognized the less not the lawyers, the real operators and analysts, they always recognize that couriers or the rosetta stone to a finding -- couriers were the rosetta stone to finding bin laden. i distinctly remember attending
all the late-night operational meetings. there was an immense amount of information derived from detainees on couriers. some who had been enhanced -- subject to the enhanced interrogation room. as marc pointed out, it was not to break detainees with these tetany said that they would blurt out the truth. the purpose of the program was to create a condition that would cause a detainee basically to give up hope and began to be truthful in the answers. some detainees who actually were approved for enhanced
interrogation techniques never received them because they began talking relatively soon and without a considerable amount of the rest. as you know, water boarding always comes forward when the discussions held, but the program contained a menu of sorts of techniques. some relatively mild water boarding being probably the most aggressive. many after being subjected to some if not all the techniques. i am gone from the cia and as so i have no particular cross to bear. i look forward to reading the cia director panetta is letter. he is a man i got to know if the agency and my last several months. is the man of the utmost
integrity and honor. i would be prepared to accept his characterization of the role that the program played. one other thing -- when we talk about the enhanced interrogation program, what worked in did not work, what sticks in my mind is that the program was the near isolation of it. it put prisoners incommunicado. that itself is an interrogation technique not available other than by the cia program. i always thought from the beginning and i think there is evidence on the record that merely the isolation, that nature of the program where they were allowed no communication, no red cross, no news to anyone, i always thought of that as a
forimportant element causing an atmosphere whereby detainees would ultimately talk. and by definition, isolation by itself is nothing but isolation. i would like for you to keep that in mind because i think that is one of the unreported benefits or attributes of the program. along with the rest to the interrogation program, as john points out, it effectively has been taken off the table by the president's executive order a few days after he took office. i have no idea whether that answer your question. some of this is ultimately unknowable. i am not one to sit here and tell you that but for every one
of those interrogation techniques, we would have never learned anything. i cannot say that. i cannot say with any degree of certainty that some of the information would have been collected some now without the program. i do know that the cia program, it was the toughest and most sophisticated and most knowledgeable element to the al qaeda leadership. i personally find it hard to believe that any information, certainly about the location of bin laden, these guys would have given up just on a simple army field manager -- army field manual question and answer. >> one of the big differences between the bush administration and the obama administration has been the closing down of any
type of classified interrogation methods. i want to turn this over to ben wittes who i would like to welcome from the brookings institution, a scholar and well- known author on these issues. his written several articles about terrorism, counter- terrorism policy, and so on. has that difference cost -- i hesitate to use the word distortion -- but a difference in the way that the operation might have been carried out? it has been well noted that this administration has ramped up the use of drums to kill al qaeda leaders were might be the case that the bush administration preferred to capture them. does the obama administration not want to be involved with interrogations' that allow the bin laden mission to be a killing capture mission? >> thank you for having me.
i would actually like to start with a point that police said -- elisa said that there's a mention. there are people in the human rights committee who would object to her having this debate at all. i think this is an important place to start. the "york times" everett taught -- editorialized after the question arose that the efficacy of these techniques is an illegitimate question. we were certainly not allowed to discuss it at all. and so i think the important place to start this discussion is, first of all, to agree with elisa that these are important questions, and that matter is very pro-family. the questions are extraordinarily hard to answer for all the we of talked about and we will continue to talk about.
the first important thing to say is that this a question in which we are going to capture how they use techniques -- high-value detainees and figural what techniques you are and are not going to do to them is going to rise again as some point. and when it does, the calculation we will make will not be simple -- a simple moral calculus and. do we feel better if we are very nice versus do we felt better if we are not very nice to really not nice? the question will be indelibly inflicted with a question of what we expect to take the lead as we expected to look like. you can disagree very profoundly about these issues and there is a lot of disagreement is you have seen on this panel. but the and first important point that there are important questions and we cannot shy away from them. i want to divide the questions
before returning to john's broader question, i wanted to buy the issue into three analytically distinct questions that are often inflated in the coercive and vet devilish in the "bid coercive interrogation give us bin laden? , all three contested vigorously over the last 10 years, although the first question, a lot of people are denying that they ever contested it. the first question is, was there very important in formation derive from programmatic custodial interrogation up and take -- of detainees that you then assembled over time into a mosaic and continually processing go back to refer to -- did that contribute materially to the mosaic of information that led to the killing of osama bin laden?
i think the answer to that question is simply yes. i do not think it is a complicated question or a difficult question. there is a very deep-seated -- this is where this debate interacts with the detention debate that underlies it. if you are not allowed to detain outside of the criminal justice system large numbers of people at various times and interrogate him for those little bit of mosaic information that you then assemble, i do not think there is any good argument that this results are rises. i think that is the easy question for the second question is the one that john just alluded to, bridges, is there value added to that general process of custodial interrogations with strategic and derogation as a feature of it, is there value added to that
when you isolate the highest i you detainees in a separate program subject to a different set of rules and -- we put aside the question of what those rules do and do not permit -- but you're taking out the highest value people, putting them in a specialized program, that has its own sets of rules and norms, and you're putting in charge of that analytical and interrogation expertise that is different from the standard military interrogation model. and i think the answer to that is that it probably pretty clearly shows that there is some value added to such a program. now how much, i am not sure. but i do think that it is a striking fact in the debate that has arisen that a lot of key information's pieces have come out of this program.
that is not necessarily mean that the same detainees and a different program would not have produced the same information. i do not think you can prove that conclusively. but i think it is a striking thing about what has come out that there does seem to be a lot of the information contributed to the mosaic that had its origins in this program. the third question which is the one we always focus on and let subsume the other two and i think that is unfortunate is whether specific interrogation techniques used in that program were responsible for the case. i think this is probably an unanswerable question because you do not know what would have happened if you had used more standard techniques or less of coercive techniques or if you just waited a while longer. it is very hard to turn the clock back and figure out what the null hypothesis is. i am hesitant to say that we
have another affirmation at this stage to figure out what the best -- we have enough information at this stage to figure what the best role of coercion or any specific course of technique in particular. not to address john's question, i do think that there is a concern that this issue raises, which is, if you do not have some programmatic answers to the question of what you're going to do with high value detainees, lme to say, i do not think that the calculation here would have been different if there had been a programmatic answer to that question. this is an extraordinarily risky operation as they kill for a killing capture operation.
if you had an answer to that question to what we do with him, the calculation still would have been very similar, which is you are sending people into an extraordinarily dangerous environment both for force protection reasons and for a lot of other reasons. you do not want it too much -- you want the rules of engagement to be pretty relaxed. that said, as a general matter, i do think the last answer you have to dig back and question, what are you going to do with the person wants to have him, how are you going to -- what is the legal status that they will be in, what is the ultimate back end question, what would you do with them after you have exhausted his intelligence? as a general matter, the the greater the structure will be to get more information rather
than less. >> elisa? >> i wanted to pick up to clarify the question we're talking about. ben took a much bigger picture from what we came here directly to talk about. i think it is important for us to be clear what techniques we are talking about. i want to address what marc sad about water boarding and torture. i guess you cannot say it is indisputable because some people dispute whether water boarding as torture. but the fact is that we have always called it torture when others nations have done that. in fact we have prosecuted enemy soldiers for water boarding our people. that is a standard that we have upheld for many, many decades.
while we're having a conversation about efficacy, i want to remind him about my opening remarks emphasizing that i am in viewed by the sense of what america stands for. perhaps that is not to because of my own personal upbringing, but because is setting international human rights advocate, i spend a lot of time talking with people outside this country who are putting their own lives on the line to advance freedom and democracy in their own countries. this against oppressive governments, and they believe the united states stands for something. in fact, i recently had occasion to meet with some former soviet bloc countries representatives,
particularly one young guy from poland who was expressing how distraught he was that the united states was reengaged in on the debate about torture and how prisoners ought to be treated, whether or not we would apply the geneva conventions, because he was formed in the crucible of looking to the united states as a moral beacon, sitting on a hill. i think it is all a little glib to say are we going to feel better if we t -- if we treat people nicer. it is a much deeper question about who we are as a country. i do not think it is relevant -- or role our interrogation role played in getting bin laden. i think it that is absolutely key to defeating this enemy, but it has always been key. so i do not question that. we talk a little bit as though there is not a current program
in place. in fact, that there is not a high value interrogation group that includes experts from the cia -- there is. i have met with them. they are now putting together and they have for some time now put together what they believe is the best and the brightest experienced interrogators to go after those who we believe our high-value intelligence. so we have that program and i would not want anyone listening here or watching to think that we do not have a way of interrogating or dealing with people who we capture. i think it is very important. but i do think that we should be listening very carefully to the message general petreaus in his letter to the troops in iraq in which he issued several years ago -- we are as of country.
seared by this horrible experience of the attacks of 9/11 it sold to the experience the warriors face on the battlefield where they see the horrible treatment and brutality of our own people by the enemy. but i would urge you to go back and look at this letter from general petreaus. he instructs his own troops to reject the back-and-forth of politicians about this issue. he says, and that put son, on what some may argue that we would be more effective through we sanction torture or other expedient method is to obtain information from the enemy. that would be wrong. beyond the basic fact the such actions are illegal, they are neither useful or necessary. using extreme physical action to
make someone taught may be of questionable value. and it goes on. one of the things that is striking that as the details come out of the program that led to the intermission that led us to bin laden, some of what we discovered after using water boarding in particular was that people told the truth sometimes after the water board, sometimes they lied. and we cannot have it both ways. it is almost as though -- i am not really sure what that proves. if it is no matter what the person says it proves that torture "works," then i'm not sure why we are interrogating these people in the first place. i suppose torture works in a wide that a rowboat to europe worked. ising -- it is incredibly slow, risky, and probably self-
destructive. >> let me turn to general mukasey. this question came up during year interrogation and -- hearings. >> it is a legal issue. what was passed during confirmation is whether water warning as torture. and i didn't know what the cia did that they called water boarding. much to the frustration of on number of the members of the committee. and afterwards i undertook to do our review of the memo which i did over period of months with the assistance of two other lawyers, neither of who knew the other was, so they were independent of one another and independent me. they concluded that what the cia did did not violate the torture statute.
the points have been made repeatedly whether the label has been attached to the water boarding as practiced by the cia as torture. if that is what we are here to discuss, that is not the discussion that i can have, because it does not violate this torture statute. if we're here to decide whether porter led to the capture of bin laden, i think that we can agree that it did not because we did not torture anybody to get any information. as far as people having been prosecuted for water boarding u.s. troops, in deed they work. and what they did there is virtually no relationship, i would say no relationship, to what the cia did. what people were prosecuted for when the water boarded u.s. troops was forcing water down their throats until their stomachs and intestines became distended very painfully and then stepping on their stomachs and intestines and forcing the water backed up, and doing it
repeatedly over and over again, or eating them raw rise and then giving them water and waiting until it expanded. what the khmer rouge did was to handcuff people to the bottom of barrels and fill those barrels with water until many drowned. that was also called water boarding. but the cia did was to tie someone to a board, put a cloth over space, pour water on him for no longer than 40 seconds at a time, and yet that was in essence to increase the carbon the oxide level in his blood to the point of panic, and that is all was. all three of the people who were ordered water showed no ill effect afterward. that is just a plain and simple truth. you can call an 18 wheeler and many trooper both motor vehicles. but i do not think that creates
a meaningful comparison. >> i would add to that technique which was called the tokyo rights treatment. there is no relationship between what the cia did and the japanese did. it is a false comparison. i'm on the panel here with three lawyers so i will not give you the legal definition of torture. will get you a common sense definition of torture. all star with a statistic. they're more journalists who have had themselves water board to prove that it is torture then there were terrorist water boarded. my common sense definition of torture is, if you're willing to try to see what it feels like, it is not torture. none of these individuals offered to have themselves have electrodes attached to certain parts of their body or have their feet drilled like dentists without novocain, or
have their legs broken. i think it does a great disservice to people like colonel day to compared with the cia did -- and it does a terrible disservice to our country to suggest that we were in league with what the japanese did and what the nazis did and what the khmer rouge did. it is factually incorrect. and set it all, the issue that elisa raise that they said things that were not true after water boarding. first of all, enhanced interrogations', they were not a truth serum. you injected them and suddenly everything against their will they told you that you wanted to know. when you took a detainee in a state of total resistance, ksm was asked about playing --
planned attack. the reformation was not to get information about osama bin laden, but to get the permission to stop terrorist attacks. the person had to be somebody of very high value in new information that could lead to a terrorist attack that we could stop and we did not have the luxury of time. we had to get them talking right away. if it started with that tommy's lap and worked his way up to water boarding. most people did not make it to water boarding. they give an early and the process. after that the techniques stopped. they had made the decision that they had resisted enough and were willing to cooperate. that does not mean they gave one under% of what they knew and did not hide anything. paul rector, the director of the joint intelligence group in guantanamo bay and who follows the army field manual and his interrogations', he estimated that none of these techniques were used in guantanamo. he estimates that based on
providing subway's sandwiches, he got 25% of what they knew. when it came to ksm, 25% is unacceptable. the detainees in cia custody, those who underwent enhanced interrogation, they cooperated because of the fear of enhanced interrogation. everyone was coerced in some way by that. those people according to the interrogators that i interviewed for my book, they estimate that they got 70% to 80% to what they knew. that is closer to the except of all -- ksm, the mastermind of 9/11, telling you that when your plans for a the new attacks, he says, soon you will not. the mets -- he admits to attack plans under way. he knows that they do not have the will to find out what to do to protect the country. i think he found that the we
did have the will and we stop the attacks and in the process, we also got bin laden. >> marc brought up the idea of truth serum. why don't we just inject them with sodium and the fall and you stressor increase marked it is illegal. you're not allowed to use mind altering drugs. there is no exception for that. even if the alterations are temporary. >> ben wanted to get in on this. this administration will have to answer this, it clearly disagrees with the efficacy is view. not goingey're still to do it for many of the reasons
the elida mentions. whether it is a mistaken and, and whether it causes intelligence operations to be conducted in a certain way. and if you wanted to get in on what we said before. >> i would be delighted to shift to the question that you just as. one of the things -- one of the oddities of this debate, and that this particular debate but the debate in general, we tend to but this on the most extreme technique, which is to say water boarding. but that causes us to do is ignore the fact that there is a very large golf -- and i do not think anyone really disputes, this is actually indisputable -- there is a very large bowl but between what the field manual
provisions and the legal line. the army field manual is a lot for the military under the mccain amendment. but it is not a lot of the cia. -- the law for the cia. the army is bound by it, article 3 and other parts of the make came at amendment. but the field manual was never designed to exhaust all listed lawful techniques that are not cruel and inhuman and degrading techniques. i am not sure everybody, but it is widely agreed that between the field manual and a legal line, there is some degree of space. and we argue about how much space there is and what does and does not fit hundred. but the argument that there is
some category -- the word enhanced has a weird connotation now -- but i mean that non- euphemistically here. but still within the law, that is overpoweringly strong. and the question of why the administration has chosen as a provincial matter to go nowhere near the legal line, even in the highest value cases, it is an interesting and important question. i think the answer to it as a practical matter is some combination of believe about the efficacy, the lives of the reputation of damage to the united states, a sense of who we are as a nation. but third, there is another factor, a factor really important conditioning the entire thing.
we're not operating in a crisis and by many more when i capturing a large numbers of high-value detainee's. if you did capture one today, it is still so differently for what it was in 2002 and 2003, and a sense of that person knowing something that has marc described it, it is unacceptable to not find out, it is a lot lower than it used to be. prudential matter, you may forgo some techniques as a result of these other factors. what will really test the debate between my fellow panelists is the point at which the threat environment is much higher than it is today and you are capturing detainee's once again from whom it is simply unacceptable to be a 20% rather
than 70%. that will not resolve this debate over whether water boarding is or is not torture. that is a legal debate. but it will put pressure on the decision to stop if the legal line is here, to stop down here, and there is the space between the legal line and the prudential line that is quite broad and encompasses some or many of the techniques that the cia was using, whatever one thinks about them as a policy matter. and i think that there will come a time when we will have to face that question again of whether we do or do not want to live in that space. >> john wanted to -- >> some factual corrections having been on the scene that time. orderesident's executive
of 2009 basically made the army field manual the standard applicable across the government. so it applies to all federal agencies. i'm at a disadvantage here because i was actually there. the me tell you about what we were thinking at that point. yes, there was subject to further guidance -- it was formally suggested was that we come up with a series of interrogation techniques that might be beyond the army field manual in the space you describe. collectively at the cia, after seven years of being pummeled and investigated and accused, that was noes man's land.
we were not going to turn on a time after being called and suggest this technique, would you go for that one? as best i can determine, this was the unanimous collective view of certainly the career cadre of cia of whom i consider myself one. and i am not disputing, but i'm trying to give you some context, some atmospherics of what was the agency's position or state of mind at that particular junction. the second of my natural correction -- is true -- it is true the first goal of the
interrogation program was to prevent another attack on the homeland. as i indicated earlier, there was a second goal and was always again from the beginning to locate obl and zawahiri. those are basically broadly speaking whether a detainee was high-value were not. >> maybe i'm wrong about that. i thought that for water boarding, they had had to believe they have knowledge of an imminent attack. >> this certainly had have that. it is hard to pull up a shopping
list at the time. but attack was the first objective of the program. i cannot emphasize enough the single mindedness inside the agency from the beginning to getting information that could lead to taking down osama bin laden. >> just to clarify my part, i did not mean to suggest it whether to live in that space was a cia matter. the decision not to live in the space was clearly a presidential matter and the decision to revisit that would have to be a presidential matter. i'm in it is a statement about the government itself. there will come a point where we have to decide based on the gap that exists between statutory law and the field manual, was a that is a gap we do or do not want to retain. >> very quickly on that.
i agree with been that there is nothing magical about the techniques in the field manual, that they are the received wisdom in their to never be another technique compliant with our values. i do think that it was a prudential decision to make clear what had become incredibly muddied to our people, military and civilian, charged with the awesome task of getting affirmation from very dangerous people, what the rules are. i think marc denigrates of that the field manual by implying it is all about snickers and subway's sandwiches. there is a lot of flexibility and it was not just written for the low level interrogations officers of the army. many interrogators from outside of the military have said, i do not need anything outside of what is any army field manual.
there is a lot of flexibility in there. another quick point i wanted to make about the description judge mukasey gave about what the cia actually did. i have to say that it comes down to parsing whether or not we are more humane atwater boarding, then the cambodians or others were, it makes me heartsick that something that john mccain who knows what he is talking about from torture has said is the equivalent to a month's execution, i just do not think they would give much comfort to my friend looking to the analysis for moral leadership in the world. and to get this four-looking question about the bush administration and the obama administration and what is different and where we're going. i think it is a mistake to view
this is a bright line between the bush administration policies and the obama administration policies. we did a lot of things as a country right after 9/11 and out of fear, ignorance -- we were not well educated about the threats of al qaeda -- that we later came to our senses about. and to his credit, president bush was already starting to move in the direction the president obama ultimately moved, whether president bush would have gotten there with more time i do not know. but it is not accurate to talk about this is a bright line between president obama. he did some important things, closing the secret prisons and establishing a single standard for interrogation. the president bush had already started down the road by ceasing
water boarding and talking about how we can go about closing guantanamo. we ought to talk about what we're going to do next, but we should do that in the context of some historical accuracy about the arc of the policy even within the bush administration. >> i think before we turn to audience questions that i would ask the panel to think about the administration policies -- do we have the opportunity with the death of bin laden to rethink the policies we are going to use? there is an example the policy should be kept the same. what would you do differently in terms of counterterrorism policy going forward? general mukasey, would you like to start or to marjah in what
would i do differently? at the beginning, i said that we need an interrogation program that is classified and administered by the cia. that is one thing i would do differently. another is to have a coherent detention policy so that we know who we detained in on what basis. and we have not talked about this at all, third, the articles ii courts. i do not think the military is really in place to run a parallel of justice system. we have done it before. but never long term. i think we ought to reform that. >> john, you might have wanted to say something. but with a forward-looking days. -- gaze.
>> now that i am not there, i can be very forward looking. like general mukasey, having been part of an certainly witnessed the interrogation policies and programs of the bush administration, i do not see that there can be any real factual argument that the yields a huge benefit in terms of intelligence. i think it is on hold all the monthly weather some or all of that intelligence could and would have been fired without the enhanced interrogation program. that one we will never know. i think the country would benefit with the detention and
interrogation program of some sort. for better or for worse, a program that the u.s. government has in place today does not in my mind come close to producing the kind of intelligence the previous program produce. if you make a judgment that it is now worth it, fit that is what increased intelligence means, the program today is different. one final thing looking ahead, in a calm that this was seven years of mixed. when the cia was being
vilified by some of the same politicians for being human rights abusers and war criminals. for the agency to embark upon an interrogation program, if i was still there, i would bias against doing that -- advise against doing that. if there was a national will or and administration will to involve the cia directly, in a risky program of interrogation, the least that we deserve in the agency is consistency. tell them what they are there to do. give them adequate legal
authority to do it uncovered. and for god's sake, do not change your mind six or seven years down the road. >> good luck on them. [laughter] -- can tellllel elisa 100%. we did not know anything about how they were structured. we did not know collaborators, what plots were out there. it was through the interrogation of the detainees that we establish disinformation. michael hayden has said that over half of the intelligence we've had from 2006 came from detainee's about threats to the question. is stop a series of terrorist plots and it also gave a hue after amount of information about the operations of al qaeda. as we became more knowledgeable, when the program had been stopped and president bush went to congress to get
legislation to restarted, once you resume the progress and he made a conscious decision because we had changed -- gained a lot of information about al qaeda, he decided to scale back the techniques and sacrifice effectiveness. and he knew he was sacrificing effectiveness in its exchange for political sustainability. he wanted to have a program in place that the next administration, republican or democrat, liberal or conservative, could come in and continue without compromising their values and what they believe. in the program, we know what the details of the program were, unfortunately. there were six techniques left. the tummy slap, a diet of liquid ensure, and mild sleep deprivation. i will ensure they make ensure would be fascinated to find out their product was considered
portrait. -- torture. his reaction was, that was it? there was always left in the program. this reason is still work, is that the terrorists did not know that. president obama canceled that, which no one could possibly take sent -- considered torture, mandated the army field manual, and released the techniques to the world so that the terrorists could learn the legal extent of what we could do in a interrogation. >> to look forward, you must look back. we could simply restore what he shut down. everything you think you need to do, we have already done. restore the program. he could do that in an easy way. he could amend the executive
order that he signed in the second day of office with a few words, unless otherwise authorized by the president. he could announce that there is a classified annex to the army field manual, it could be a blank page. or could have the six techniques or could be nothing, but as long as the terrorist do not know what they are facing, the key to the success of breaking his people is that they'd do not know what they are facing. figured out what our boarding. he mocked them by holding out his arm and counting off the seconds with his hand. he knew how far we could go. when they know how hard you can go, it is very hard to break them. >> i like to suggest that the way to move forward is to actually not the focus on
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] this is, i think, probably an unanswerable question because you don't know what would have happened if you had used more standard techniques or lesser coercive techniques or if you had just waited a little longer.
and so i -- i'm hesitant to, you know, to say that we have enough information at this stage to sort of figure out what the best hypothesis is regarding the role of coercion in general or any specific coercion technique in particular. now to address john's question, i do think that there is a -- a concern that, you know, this -- this issue raises, which is, you know, if you do not have some program attic answer to the question of what you're going to do with high-value detainees, let me just say i don't think that the calculation here would have been different if there had been a programic answer.
a kill operation or a kill or capture operation. zpwrnk you had had an answer to what the heck do we do with him question, the calculation still would have been similar. you're sending people into an extraordinaryly dangerous environment. both for forced protection reasons and a lot of other reasons. you don't want too much -- you want the rules of engagement to be pretty relaxed, pretty open. that said, as a general matter, i think the less answer you have to the back-end questions, what are you going to do with the person once you have him. what is the legal status they are going to be in? what is the ultimate back-end question? what are you going to do with him after you exhausted his intelligence?
the less stable answers you to those questions, the greater the structure will be. >> i just wanted to pick up on this because i wanted to clarify a little bit of the questions that we're talking about here. ben took a much bigger picture from what we kind of came here directly to talk about. i think it is important for us to be clear what, you know, what techniques we're talking about. i want to address what marc said about water boarding and torture. ok. i guess you can't say it is indisputable because some people dispute whether or not water boarding is torture, but the fact is we have always called it torture when other nations have done that. in fact, we have prosecuted enemy soldiers for water boarding our people.
and that is the standards that we have upheld for many, many decades. i think, you know, while we're having a conversation about ethicasy. my opening remarks emphasize i am -- by the sense of what america stands for. perhaps that is not just because of my own personal upbringing but also because of an international human rights advocate, i spent a lot of time talking with people outside this country who are putting their own lives on the line to advance freedom and democracy in their own countries against repressive governments and they believe that the united states stands for something. and, in fact, i recently had occasion to meet with some
former soviet block countries, representative, particularly a young guy from poland who was expressing how distraught he was that the united states was reengaging on this debate about torture and how prisoners ought to be treated, whether or not we would comply with the geneva convention because he was formed in the crucible of looking to the united states as the moral beacon, the city on the hill. i think it is a little quick to say are we going feel better if we're going to treat people nicer. it really is a much deeper question about who we are as a country. i don't believe that it is irrelevant. how did we get bin laden? what role our interrogation program played in that. i think interrogation and intelligence gathering is absolutely key to defeating this enemy in particular, but it has
always been key, so i don't question that. we talk a little bit as though there is not a current program in place and that, in fact, you know, that there is not a high-value interrogation group that includes excerpts from the c.i.a. they have put together what they believe is the best and the brightest experienced interrogators to go after those who we believe are of high value intelligence. so we have that program. i wouldn't want anybody listening here or watching to think that we don't have a way of interrogating or dealing with people who we capture. i think it is very important. but i do think that we should be listening very carefully to the message of general petraeus in his letter to the troops in
iraq, which he issued several years ago. we are, as a country, very sered by this hosht -- horrible attacks of nine. a similar experience that warriors face on the battlefield where they see a horrible treatment and brutality of our people by the enemy. i would urge you to go back and look at this letter from general petraeus in which he instructs his own troops to reject the back and forth of politicians about this issue and, he said, i quote "some may argue that we may be more effective if we sanction torture or other expedient methods to obtain information from the enemy. they would be wrong. history shows they are
frequently neither useful nor necessary. ing extreme physical action may get people to talk" it goes on. one of the things that is striking as the details come out of the program that led to the information that led us to bin laden is that some of what we discovered after using water boarding in particular, was that people told the truth sometimes after they were water boarded. sometimes they lied. and we can't have it both ways. you know, it is almost as though i'm not sure really what that proves. if it is no matter what the person says, that it proves that torture works, then i'm not sure why we're interrogating these people in the first place. i suppose torture works in a way
a rowboat to europe work. it is incredibly slow and risky and self-destructive. >> let me stop you there. i want to turn to general mukasey. this subject came up in your hearings. you had to make a determination as a government official. >> what i was asked during my confirmation hearings was whether water boarding was torture. since i didn't know what the c.i.a. did, what they called water boarding, i couldn't answer the question, much to the frustration to have members of the committee. i did over a period of months with the assistance of two other lawyers, neither of whom knew who the other was. so that i have input from two people who are independent of one another and independent of me and concluded that what the
c.i.a. did did not violate the torture statute. points have been made repeatedly. if that is -- what we're here to discuss, that's no not the discussion i can really have. it doesn't violate the torture statute. if we're here to decide whether torture led to the capture of bin laden, i think we can agree that it didn't because we didn't torture anybody to get any information. what they did, there is virtually no relationship, i would say no relationship to what the c.i.a. did. what people were prosecuted for when they water boarded u.s. troops was forcing water down
their throat until their stomachs and intestines became full and then stepping on their stomachs or feeding them raw rice and waiting until that expanded. what the khmer rouge did is they did it until many of them drowned. what the kaye did was tie somebody to a board, pour water on him for no longer than 40 seconds at a time. the effect was inessence to increase the co 2 level in his blood to the point where it caused panic. all three of the people who were water boarded showed no ill effects afterwards. that is just the plain and simple truth. it is -- i mean, you can call an
18-wheeler and a mini cooper both motor vehicles but i don't think that is a meaningful comparison between the two. >> i would just add to that the technique that mukasey spoke about was called the tokyo rice treatment. there is no relationship to what the c.i.a. did and japan did. i won't give you the legal definition of torture. i'll give you a common sense definition. i'll start with the statistics. more journalists have had themselves water boarded to prove that it is torture than there are terrorists who have been water boarded. if you're willing to try it to see what it feels like, it is not torture. none of these individuals offered to have themselves have electrodes attached to certain
part of their body or that vir teeth drilled by dentists without novocain or have their bones in presses. i think it does a great disservice to people like colonel day to compare what the c.i.a. did. it is a disservices to real torture victims. it does a disservice to our country to say that we were in league with what the japanese and the khmer rouge did. they said certain things were true after doing water boarding. you know, first of all, the intense interrogations are not -- they were not a truth sir um. -- serum. when they took a detainee, in
total resistance, k.s.m. was asked about planned attacks. the purpose was not to get information on u.b.l.. it was to get information to stop terrorist attacks. the person had to be somebody very high value who knew information that could lead to a terrorist attack that we had to stop and we didn't have the luxury at the time. we had to get them to talk right away. it started with the tummy slap and worked its way up to water boarding. most of the people didn't make it to water boardings. they gave in pretty early in the process. after that, the techniques stopped. they had made the decision they had resisted enough. that doesn't mean they gave us 100% of everything they knew. the director of the intelligence group at goib and who followed
-- at goib estimates that none of these neebs were used. he said by providing snickers bars he got 25% of what he knew. the detainees in c.i.a. custody who underwent enhanced interrogation, while some of them didn't go through it, they cooperated because of the fear of enhanced interrogation. everybody was in some way by that. 70% to 80% is closer to acceptable for khalid shaikh mohammed. who is sitting there telling you when he is asked what are your plans for new attacks, he said soon you will know. he admits he had attack plans that are underway. he says you know americans are
weak and don't have to will to do what is necessary to protect their country. i think he found that we did have the will and we did stop attacks and the in process, we also got bin laden. >> twice he used the phrase truth serum. why do we have to use all of these elaborate techniques? why don't we just inject them with truth serum? first of all, it is illegal. you're not allowed to use mind altering drugs. >> i knew that. [laughter] >> maybe we'll turn to a question of this administration. this administration clearly disagrees with the either cassy issue.
i think -- ethicasy issue. i wonder if this is a mistake or not. i wonder if it causes the military agencies to conduct operations in a certain way, in other words decreasing their flexibility. you wanted to get into what people were saying. >> one of the things a is -- one of the oddities of this debate, leave aside, i don't mean this particular debate. i mean the debate in general. we tend to focus on the most extreme technique, which is to say water boarding. what that causes us to do is ignore the fact that there is a very large gulf and i don't think anybody really disputes this. i think this actually is undispute nl and indisputed.
there is a very large gulf between what the field imagine perlts and the legal line. -- imagine. it is not the law for the c.i.a. and the c.i.a. is bound by article three and tds bound by the other terms of the mccain amendment which prohibit human cruel and integrating treatment but the field man well was never designed for that. i think everybody -- not sure everybody. i think it is widely agreed that between the field man wall and the legal line, there is some degree of ways is and we argue
about how much space there is and what does and doesn't fit under it. the argument is there is some category, the -- enhands over what the military was permitted to do turned field manual but still within the law is strong and the question of why the administration has chosen as a prudential matter to go nowhere near the legal lines even in the highest value cases is an interesting and important question. now i think the answer to it as a practical cal matter is some combination of briefs about ethicasy. some beliefs about reputational damage to the united states and a sense of who we are as a nation. third, i think there is another
factor that is a factor that is really important in conditioning the entire thing, which is we're not operating in a crisis environment anymore and capturing high-value detainees. i think the atmosphere if you do capture a high-value detainee today is still so different from what it was in 2002 and 2003 and the sense of that person's knowing something that is -- as marked described it, is simply unacceptable is a lot lower than it used to be. so you may as a prudential matter choose to forego certain techniques that would be indisputably lawful as a result of these other factors. i think the point that we'll really test the debate between my fellow panelists is the point at which the threat environment is much higher than it is today.
and you are capturing detainees once again for whom it is unacceptable to be at 20% rather than 70%. that will not resolve the debate over whether water boarding is or is not torture. that is a legal debate, but it will put pressure on the decision to stop. if the legal line is here, to stop down here. and there is this space between -- between the legal line and the prudential line that is really quite broadened that i think clearly encompasses some or many of the techniques that the c.i.a. was using, what everyone thinks about them as a policy matter and you know, i think there will come a time when we will have to face that question again of whether we do or don't want to live in that space. >> >> john? >> a couple of corrections
having been on the scene at the time. ben, as you know, the president's executive order of january 23, 2009, basically made the army field man wal to the government. >> absent further guideants. -- guidance. >> i'm at a disadvantage here because i was actually there at the time. let me give you the best i can give you about what we were thinking at that point. yes, there was subject to further guidance or -- we at the agency, it was suggested to us that we come up with a series of sbaregation techniques that might be beyond the army manual.
ar seven years of being pummeled and investigated and accused that collective space was no man's land. we were not going turn on a dime frankly after being called torturers and suggest to the new administration well, how about this technique? would you go for that one? the best i can determine, this was unanimous collective view of certainly the career cadre of the c.i.a. which i consider myself one. what you said, i'm not disputing. i'm just trying to give you some context of what was the agency's position or state of mind at that particular juncture. second minor factual correction,
it is true that the -- if one was -- from the beginning what was the -- it was to prevent another catastrophic attack on the homeland. as i indicated earlier, there was a second goal and that was always, again, one from the beginning, was to locate u.b.l. there were twin goals and those goals persisted for seven years, even when the program itself was pared back. basically, broadly speaking, the criterion with whether we consider a particular quarry was a detainee or not. >> i thought for water boarding they had to have -- believed to have knowledge of an imminent
attack. >> well, again, we didn't tote up a shopping list at the time. terrorist attack was the first and foremost objective to the program. i just can't emphasize enough the single -- by the agency from the beginning. as to getting information that could lead to the taking down of bin laden. >> just to clarify on my part, i didn't mean to suggest that the decision of whether to live in that space was a c.i.a. matter. i think it is -- the decision not to live in that space is clearly a presidential matter and the decision to revisit that would have to be a presidential matter. i meant it as a statement about the government itself. there will come a point when we have to decide based on the gap that exists between statutory
law and the field manual whether we want to continue to exist. >> going move the a slightly different splumplet one, i agree with ben that there is nothing magical about the techniques in the field manual that they are the received wisdom and complying with the general overa convention. i think it was a prudential decision to make clear what had become incredibly muddied to our people, military civilians who are charged with this awesome task of getting information. i think mark -- a bit the field manual by implying that it is all about snickers and subway sandwiches. it was not written just for the low level interrogation officers
of the army and in fact many interrogators from outside of the military have said i don't need anything outside of what is in the army field manual. another quick point i want to make about the description judge mukasey gave about what the c.i.a. actually did. i would have to say that if this debate comes down to whether or not we are more humane at water boarding than cambodians or the, you know, the filipinos, it makes me heartsick that something that john mccain, who knows what he is talking about from torture, has said is equivalent to a mock execution. i don't think that is going give much help to my polish friend who is looking to the united states for moral leadership in the world. finally to get us to this
forward-looking question about the bush administration, the obama administration and what is different and where we're going. i think it is a mistake to view this as a bright line between bush administration's policies and the obama administration's policies. in fact, we did a lot of things as a country right after 9/11 out of fear, ignorance, we were not well educated about the threat of al qaeda. that we alert came to our senses about. to his credit, president bush was already starting to move the the direction that president obama ultimately moved, whether president bush would have gotten there with more time, i don't know. but i do think that it is not accurate to talk about this as a bright line that changed when president obama came into office. he did some very important things, closing the secret prisons and establishing a
single standard for interrogations. but president bush had already started down that road by talking about how we can go about closing guantanamo. i think we ought to talk about what we're going to do next but we should do that in the context of some historical accuracy about the arc of this policy even within the bush administration. >> i think before we turn to audience questions, i would like to ask the panelists just to think about the future. the bush administration policies, the obama administration policies. do we have the opportunity now with bin laden on the rethink the policies we're going to use. an example that policy should be kept the same. what would you do differently in terms of terrorism policy going forward?
general mukasey, would you like to start? >> what would i do differently? at the beginning, i said we need an interrogation program that is classified and administered by the c.i.a. that's one thing i would do differently. another is to have a coherent detention policy so we know who we detain, who we kill and on what basis. third, and we haven't talked about this at all really, and it has to do with the commissions opposed to -- it is a binary choice now. i don't know that either one is attractive. i don't think the mill is really in place to run a parallel justice system. we have had paramilitaries before but never long-term. i think we ought to re-reform that. -- reform that.
>> john? with a forward-looking -- >> gaze. >> forward-looking. ok. now that i'm not there, i can be very forward looking. like general mukasey, having been part of and witnessed and observed the sbaregation policies and programs of the bush administration, i don't see that there is any real factual argument that it did yield huge benefits in terms of intelligence. as i said earlier, i think it is unknowable ultimately whether some or any or all of that intelligence could of or would have been acquired without the enhanced interrogation program. that we will never know.
i think the country are benefit with a -- an sbaregation and detention program of some sort. frankly, the program for better or worse, program the u.s. government has in place today is -- doesn't, in my mind, come close with whether you approve or not simply cannot come close to producing what the previous program produced. i wanted to make a judgment -- it is not worth it if that is what increased intelligence means. make no mistake about it. the program today is different. one final thing looking ahead. seven years of experience, seeing the political pendulum
swing from the days after 9/11 when the c.i.a. was accused and vilified for being risk averse to late 2008 when the c.i.a. is vilified by some of the same politicians for being human rights abusers and war criminals. i think certainly for the agency to embark upon an sbaregation program, -- interrogation program, to take the lead if a program, if i was still there, i would involve my colleagues in the eight, give them experience with that. i would urge if there is a national will, an administration will to involve c.i.a. directly in the -- in a -- is risky and aggressive program of interrogation. the least men and women of the agency deserve the consistency.
tell them what they are to do. give them adequate legal authority to do it. for god's sake don't change your mind six or seven years down the road. that's all. >> good luck, john. >> one other thing. i can tell that president bush would not have ended up where president obama is. if you think back to the period after 9/11, we didn't know k.s.m. was the operational commander of al qaeda. we didn't know anything about how they were structured their networks. it was through interrogation of these detainees that we established this information. michael hayden has said over half the intelligence we had from television 2006 came from detainees. it stopped some terrorist plots and gave us huge information about operations of kade.
as we became more knowledgeable, when the program had been stopped in 2006 and president bush tonight with congress to get legislation so that we could restart it, when we resumed the program, he made a conscious decision, he decided to scale back the techniques and sacrifice some effectiveness. he knew he was sacrificing effectiveness in exchange for political sustainability. he wanted to have a program in place that the next administration could come in and continue without compromising their values and what they believed. unfortunately we know what the details of that program were. there were six techniques left. the tummy slap. the facial hold. a diet of liquid ensure. i'm sure the make rs of liquid
ensure would be fascinated to know their product is considered torture. mike hayden actually briefed the president on this program. actually had a representative temperature state the neebs to the president. his reaction was "that's it"? that's all that was left in program. no one knew that. what president obama did was he canceled that which no one could possibly consider torture. released all the techniques to the world so the terrorists could learn the legal extent of what we could do in interrogation. so what the president could do looking forward. >> some people just don't want to look forward. >> what we could do simply is restore what he closed, what he shut down, what he inherited. the gift mike hayden gave him, he said everything you think you need to do, we have already
done. he can do that in a very, very easy way. he can amend the executive order that he signed the seaked day of office. -- second day of office. he could announce that there was a classified annex to the field manual that has been added. it can be a blank page. the torture with ensure and the mild sleep deprivation. as long as the trorses don't know what they are facing, the key to success is they can't know what they are facing. k.s.m. figured out water boarding. he mocked his interrogators by hold off his arm and counting off the seconds with his hand. when terrorists know how far they can go, it is very, very hard to break them.
>> i would like to suggest that the way to move forward is actually not to focus on interrogation right now. because interrogation presents probably the hardest and most divisive issue that has arisen in the post 9/11 era and because for one reason or another, we're not capturing any or at least large numbers of the sort of people who would be going into this program if we had it. so while i agree that there is a long-term or immediate yes, ma'am-term question that we are going to have -- medium term question that we are going to have to address, i think the problem is the underlying detention question. when you capture somebody, what do you do with them in the immediate sense? do you think of them as, you
know, somebody who comes to the united states for criminal trial? do you think of them as somebody who gets held in theater and transferred to another question for detention or processing of one sort o or another. do you start bringing people back to guantanamo as the chairman of the services committee has suggested? these are questions with really no stable answer and they actually do affect a substantial number of people. are people operating theaters actually capturing people. i think, you know, this is -- if you can resolve or begin to bring resolution to the sort of long-term detention architecture that we're going to be working with, some of the interrogation questions will follow from that, which is to say that once you decide you're putting somebody in the criminal justice system, a set of rules about interrogation followed from that. some of them are very permissive
rules, the military. you're not allowed to threaten anybody under any circumstances. the f.b.i. picture mentioned the sentences that people could get every day. on the other hand, some of the rules are very restrictive relative to the military, for example, you have to marandize people. you make very profound decisions about the interrogation rules that are going to be permitted. i think there is a lot to be said for starting with the question of what the detention rules are going to be. over time we'll have to figure out what the long-term volume of high value detainees are. that will give you data that is
not data from 2002 and 2003 but data from 2012 and 2013 about what kind of interrogation techniques that you do need that we don't have now, if any. >> very good. >> we need to talk about -- >> i thought you already had your last time. you want to finish up? ok. >> just that i think it is important to -- it has been referenced here, the question about criminal trials. i think, you know, in fact, what a lot of what we learned about al qaeda, we learned through the trials of the first world trade center bombing. this question about whether we look back or look forward. i have a lot of friends in the agency actually and i have a huge amount of sympathy for the situation that we were put in. i wish more of our political leaders had expressed that kind of sympathy in advance before
they led people who joined the agency to protect the united states and the values that it stands for and letting them believe that they have to focusen cuss on the industry and to do their jobs. that's what is criminal. i think it is stunning that a panel here are not talking about what this means as we are projecting our identity as a nation to the world. the people who fight this fight make huge sacrifices. we owe them a huge debt but we also owe them clarity. i fully agree with what you are saying, john, about what the rules are. >> good. thank you. raise your hand. she will come over with a
microphone. please say your name and affiliation. keep the questions short. we don't have a lot of time. you have had your hand up for 30 minutes, i think. why don't you go first. i like tobias people who are brave enough to sit in the front row. >> two things very quickly. first, we don't know how the obama techniques work as long as we're relying on intelligence and we go up against another terrorist group, i'm sure there will be some where we have no intelligence and that is years away before you have a market test. you don't know how it is working. the second thing, hypothetical for the panel. say an islamic group takes over pakistan. a few minutes later -- goes off.
president exmp snatches -- do you restrict yourselves to the army field manual? would you use enhanced techniques into the -- under bush administration or even going beyond that? >> very good. does anybody want to -- john, you have your microphone on. you want to respond? [laughter] left over from before. that will teach you not to be ignorant of communications technology. >> from the fairly parochial standpoint of the agency, i feel fairly confident saying the issue, the agency, people in the agency, will not see what has -- conducting any certainly renewed
techniques along the line without the personal written infomatur of the president of the united states. in the scenario you described, yes. >> work on the rizzo campaign. >> i just want to say your hypothetical is extraordinaryly detailed and extraordinaryly vague. it is detailed in some respects. the question of what you know and how you know that it actually knows something that is really valuable is extraordinaryly important in deciding what interrogation tactics are and are not appropriate.
i don't think you're describing a scenario that has -- that is very hard to respond to responsibly. >> my question is that the debate has been going on for the last 10 years why the u.s. cannot get osama bin laden. and now president obama got him. question is now this debate will go on why we got him. what i'm asking, do most people hiding in pakistan -- also osama bin laden within those walls which everybody knows now that pakistan kept him for nine or 10 years. should pakistan pay a price for this?
finally, do -- mentioned only the -- from the pakistan and also the military people weren't living around that compound. somebody in pakistan knew in the military that osama bin laden lived there. we don't know that anybody else here knew or not. general musharraf, -- my question now where do we go from here and what pakistan should do? >> i think there are two questions. one, is it really possible that pakistan did not know that bin laden was there given the location he was found and was he being shielded by the pakistani government? what should we do with pakistan?
not exactly a legal question. i think people thought very hard about this problem. you don't have your microphone on. >> i think obviously it is a question that a lot of people with asking right now including in the obama administration. but it is really a question that we should have been asking immediately after 9/11. in fact, you know, going back to the huge hundred dollars of people who were turned over -- hundreds of people who were turn over to the united states, the contrast is striking. many, many people were turned over to the united states who ended up in guantanamo who the bush administration later released as irrelevant nobodies who we got from pakistan and yet during much of the time since 9/11 it turns out that the leader of our enemies have been in hiding there in open sight.
so i think it absolutely must change the dynamic of our relationship. the -- the dilemma that we're obviously in is that we also need a relationship with pakistan to fight this enemy. but i think, you know, we have to -- we have to be very frank now with the pakistanis and i think congress will also start forcing that as the administration revises its relationship there. >> all the way in the back standing up with the curly hair. there is no one with curly hair behind you, sir. >> thank you very much. nathan sales from george mason law school. thank you for joining us in the lion's den, as it were. my question is do you think the army field man sw well --, if so
given how restrictive the techniques are, they are considerably more restrictive than the rules that apply in garden variety criminal investigations. you can't do good cop-bad cop unless you get an 06 to approve. you cannot threat an source. you cannot coerce a source. you cannot yell. f.b.i. agents said if you don't cooperate you'll be going levinworth for a long time. >> as said before, i think that there is no magic about the army field manual. i don't think it contains all the techniques that are compliant with our values and our laws. i think that is also why it is a good thing that president obama had created this high-value
interrogation group which has represents on it from the c.i.a., the f.b.i. and the military. in an attempt to make sure that we canvass experts from all of the relevant agencies to collect the most effective and legal techniques for gathering intelligence that we have. i think that was lacking right after 9/11 frankly and it is part of reason why things went so awry. so i think that is good. the high volume interrogation group, as i understand their current activity, parts of what they are doing looking to see if they are, you know, if there are other techniques that want to suggest. personally, i think what i am concerned about is that our techniques are compliant with the geneva convention and with our constitution and i think we ought to be able to stand, you know, firmly on that in front
of the rest of the world and say, not hide what we stand for, what we are willing to do, the idea that we can convince al qaeda and the rest of the world that we might torture them. i think that is a good idea or a -- do not think that is a good idea or a useful thing to do. going the army field manual as an existing document that was proven and testified to many including outside the military that it provided them what they needed to get the material from dangerous people. could it be changed? it has been changed many times. it can be reviewed. i would disagree with your ackizeation how limiting it is. there is a lot of flexibility in there. too much flexibility as some people would say. you have the ability to isolate people, to, you know, to deprive
them of all kinds of things that some people would argue violate the geneva convention. i think it is a useful starting place. >> i would say we do want to hide what we're doing from somebody, the terrorists. i think we don't want them to know the limits of the techniques because they can train against them so it is very easy for them to do that. the problem is the high interrogation group. i would be very interested to know who they are interrogating. mike hayden said recently that outside of battlefieldses of afghanistan and iraq, there has not been one high-value detention by the united states since president obama took office. it is not a question of what techniques we should use against them because we're not even at that point. we're doing battlefield interrogations in iraq and afghanistan but the kind of people who are in the program, this is the most exclusive club
in the world, the hardest group to get into, the cream of the crop, the poem -- the people who planned 9/11. this administration has been blowing them up with predators which is better than letting them go. we're not getting any intelligence out of if president obama deserves great credit to make the decision to go and get bin laden, if he had not done that, if we had done a predator strike, that whole area would have been blown up. it would have been gone. doing predators versus these kinds of raids was back in the early days when k.s.m. was captured, they were in karachi. now they have moved to the tribal region. you can't get teams in there.
it is too high risk. there is right now at this moment a high-value terrorist who was captured just a few weeks before the bin laden raid. he was one of the last at-large members of the k.s.m. network recruited to carry out to second wave of attacks. he has been hiding out in pakistan -- sorry, the philippines for 10 years. he obviously was there to meet the guy we killed there a few weeks later. he is not in u.s. custody. in the bush administration that man would be telling us who he was meeting with, what he was planning and what his operations were. this administration doesn't have him. they don't have a place to take him or interrogation techniques to use against him. we are in a very, very big world of hurt when it comes to what is
the most vital forms of intelligence on the war of terror. >> i think we only have time for one really fast question. how about you right here? yes, sure. sorry. wait for the mic. we ask you to keep it proof. >> i'm ariane. it seems like there is a word game going back and forth. today you said that the information was a nickname, in a letter from the "washington post," panetta said no letter revules their full true name. is that we're what we're talking about here, nicknames versus true names? do you believe that the administration is being misleading one way or the other? >> i'm not. i'm not accusing anybody of being misleading. i'm certainly not here to play word games. i know what i said to be true.
you can read into that letter what you want to read into it. i will go back to what i said earlier. it was part of the mosaic. the key issue is the one we have been addressing at the end here which is what we do going forward. we need a program in place. i agree with the people who said we need a classified program. we also need a detention program and some upgrading of what we do when we capture people we want to try. i'm not interested in playing word games with anybody. least of all with a certified war hero who has a suburb public record. but -- superb public record. >> couldn't think of a better note on what to end our panel. join me in thanking our panel
and we're adjourned. [applause] >> in a few moments, house budget k chairman paul ryan on the economy, the budget and the national debt. "washington journal" is live at 7:00 eastern talking about the budget proposal, the presidential field and then the senate energy committee hears fromed that allen about legislation drilling for oil and gas. that's live at 10:00 eastern. >> former national security advisor retired general james jones testifies this morning before the senate relations committee on u.s. relations with pakistan. that's on our companion network c-span 3 at 9:30 a.m. eastern.
and we hear from interior secretary ken salazar and thad allen about legislation for drilling for offshore oil and gas. you can see that on c-span at 10:00 a.m. eastern. this june on "in depth" the balance between security and liberty. the difficulty turnovers climate change treaty and the limits of international law. eric posner. his books include "law and social norms." he will take your calls, emails and tweets, live sunday june 5 on c-span 2's book tv. house budget committee chairman paul ryan says his proposal to overall medicare with a voucher system would fight rising health care costs. the wisconsin republican was at the economic club of cgo